Oh Christmas sea, oh Christmas sea! How lovely are your beaches…
It’s that time of year again, when the hordes descend upon the seaside towns and flood the quiet fishing spots.
Please remember two things:
1-Please leave the beach the way you found it (or cleaner). It only takes a few seconds to pick up the off-cuts of line and bait packets.
2-Stick to the basics. Don’t go down to the beach and think you are going to throw your new grinder set-up 200 meters on the first throw, or throw your multiplier set-up for the first time this year and not end up with a huge “kraaines”. Start off slow, do what you know and enjoy the fact that you are fishing and not stuck behind a desk or in traffic.
North – The north has been running very hot of late, but Sodwana has been the place to be, rreports have come in of excellent game fish catches, most of these have been dominated by three species: Tuna, dorado and wahoo. A few determined anglers have managed sailfish and marlin. Pink has continued to be a fantastic colour with the Williamson Speedpro 160 in pink doing the damage for most guys. A quick look on Facebook will show you enough pictures to make even the most calm anglers excited. Nothing ruins a trip more than below-standard tackle so make sure your line is in good nick, your reels are serviced and your hooks are sharp.
Central – The Durban area has been producing some lovely bait catches and the commercials are loading up with mixed bags of red eyes, mackerel and bonnies. The tuna have been around in full force and everyone is getting a piece of the action. The Ski Boat fraternity has been having the best luck with fishing in and around the bait marks. Successful targeting methods have included throwing poppers and putting out a trap stick with a live mozzie. The Jetski guys are having the best time with trolled lures, be it lipped or skirted. The Paddleski anglers are showing themselves to be the kings of the popper throwers. This is probably due to the stealthy approach on the dolphins. Jetski and Skiboat anglers will know that as soon as the dolphins hear your motors, the dive down and swim away, this in turn takes the tuna with them. The lack of noise on a Paddleski means you can get much closer to the dolphins and in turn get your popper in amongst the action without scaring the dolphins away.
South – Dorado at Aliwal, and off Umkomaas, tuna and wahoo. Trolled lipped lures have been the most successful way of filling your hatch on the South Coast. Strangely enough, the pink lures are not the best performing along this piece of coast (as is the case further north). The darker coloured lures are definitely pulling in the lion’s share of the catches. The true winner has been the black Rattler. This lure has been working for tuna, dorado and wahoo whether it is trolled behind a Jetski, Skiboat or Paddleski.
Ray’s tip: For those of you who are launching your boat for the first time this year, or maybe for the first time ever, choose a sheltered launch site. One of the harbours is perfect for this. Otherwise, speak to the guys launching from the spot you have chosen and watch them for a while. See the lines they are running. Sometimes you cannot just punch straight out to sea and you need to run parallel for 100 meters before shooting the gap.
Rock and surf:
There have been some spectacular catches of late, a few ribbontails have made an appearance on the coast. One of these, caught on the beachfront weighed in at just less than 95KGS! Well done to the angler for wrestling that beauty out and props to the new Saltist Elite 14’6” for providing the necessary backbone.
North – There has still been some hectic action up north. The small hammers and milkies are still proving to be a bit of a nuisance, but they do make a good bait for most of the inedible species up north, so when life gives you lemons…
The diamonds have been around, but the trick has been to locate them. It is very important to keep moving until you find the aggregation. The bite with these fish is very quick, so if you haven’t got a pull in the first 20 minutes, move. As mentioned previously, look for areas where there is water movement out to deep sea. This rip current will pull the scent from your bait out to the deeper water and attract fish from a much wider area.
Central – As mentioned above, the beachfront has been seeing some very good fish. Diamonds have been the bulk of the bigger catches and they have ranged in size from small flappers to the bigger +50 kg brutes. The rest of the catches have been made up of giant sandsharks, blue rays, browns, honeycombs, ribbontails and grey sharks. Most baits will work for the smaller greys and diamonds, but the bigger fish are a lot more selective. Using fresh bait cannot be over-emphasised. Mackerel and redeye will be your go to baits with chokka being a good one to use when the peckers are around. Most of the beachfront area has a slow slope in to the deep, so make sure you walk in to the water for a good few meters before you let loose. This will often mean the difference between a bite and a blob. The edibles catches coming out have been dominated by shad. Some anglers have managed a stumpnose or two but shad have been the prevailing species. Some bigger fish have been caught and guys have reported shad as large as 5 kilograms and up.
South – The south has produced the best mix of edible and inedible catches, reports have come in of good catches of both. The edibles coming out have been pompano, shad, garrick, kob and bronze bream. The shad have been of considerable proportions and some have managed fish close on 6 kilograms. The late season garrick have not been the biggest but are always a welcome when targeting the other edible species.
For the inedible guys, the deep water points have been working as well as any area where one can wade out on to the outer sandbank. Throwing bigger baits with lots of juices has been the recipe for success. The South Coast honeycombs have not yet made themselves known, but we await their arrival with eager anticipation. The other inedibles coming out have been diamonds, grey sharks, brown skates and sandsharks.
The oil has definitely cleaned up in the Durban Harbour although some remnants can still be seen in amongst the rocks. The grunter are still falling for a well-presented cracker while the mullet are loving some fresh white bread on a two hook float trace. For the artificial guys: the fly fishers are doing very well and reporting good catches of springer, tarpon and garrick. Flies being used are being kept secret, but any good baitfish or squid pattern will work at this time of year. The spinning fraternity has been getting the bulk of the springer bites although very few are being landed. This is due to the weight of the lures being used and the hard bony mouth of the springer. The weight of the lure extenuates the lever effect of the fish shaking its head and this means the hook often pops out when the springer jumps
The recent overcast and mizzly conditions have kept The Midlands cool and damp. The respite from high summer water temperatures, along with some rains in the higher catchment areas, is great news for trout. The arrival of the summer rains tends to slow the bass activity, while we have seen some increased activity from the carp and yellowfish anglers. Reports indicate that there have been some good carp at the top of Midmar, and the Natal yellowfish / scaly’s are well up into the Lions River on their summer run. We would like to request all anglers to respect farm lands / private property and get permission from the riparian owners where required before fishing these areas. Some excellent fish have been reported from our local brown trout rivers, the Bushman’s and Mooi. With the rains, the flows have picked up and also coloured the water somewhat, putting the fish off the dry fly and more emphasis on the nymph. Standard nymph patterns to look at are the Zak, Pheasant-tail (PTN) and Gold-ribbed Hare’s Ear (GRHE) in both weighted (tungsten or brass beads to go deep, depending on depth and flow) and unweighted forms (usually fished as trailer / point fly for more movement). The cool, drizzly weather has kept the still waters active, the fish appreciating the staving off of the hot summer waters. Newly flooded margins provide a safe(r) haven for minnows, tadpoles and froglets, and the trout will be found cruising these margins looking for those that stray out. Popular patterns such as woolly buggers and zonkers in olive and black serve well for your minnow and tadpole imitations. For the fly tying enthusiasts, a GRHE on a #10 or even #8, does double duty as a minnow. Big trout also eat (lots) of little food, and with the summer “pond life” being much more active than in the single-figure water temperatures of winter, popular patterns at this end of the scale are midges and buzzers. While the inclement weather might keep most anglers indoors, the impending holiday season will provide plenty fishing opportunities – and as the saying goes : every day has a silver lining, so while some are bound to better than others, the time to get out in NOW! Be sure to have a look at The Kingfisher YouTube channel, where we feature the ASFN ‘Out and About’ visit to The Fish Eagle in Pietermaritzburg – we look forward to hearing from what tackle / tips / reviews you would like to see in a fly fishing series… This report from Jan Korrubel in PMB.
Carp – Fishing at Albert Falls has been rather slow for most of our anglers as the weather has been making life very difficult for most freshwater fishermen. There are however a handful of fishermen who have been braving the weather and actually catching a few decent carp. The carp seem to be coming out in the deeper water ranging from 150m to 250m. A canoe, bait boat or inflatable boat would definitely come in handy to achieve these distances! Kaboem mealies, chick peas and mealie pap balls have getting most of the better coming out. Within the 100m mark, dough backing and half a mealie or floatie on the tip have been getting most of the smaller fish. Fishing at Nagle Dam has started to pick up the past week as reports of a few decent carp have come in. The sweeter flavours such as sweet corn and carp butter have been the flavours of choice as most of the reported fish have been caught on them, the feed is generally plain. All particles have been doing great as hook baits, corn, tiger nuts, giant maize and chick peas have been favoured hook baits. Critically balancing all these baits has been a crucial part of all the success.
Bass – Fishing at Shongweni Dam has been mediocre all round, the bass that have been coming out here and there but not in abundance. Surface lures early in the mornings have been getting a few bites when the weather has allowed it. Black and Junebug colour baby flukes have also been getting quite a few bites towards the middle of the day. Small jigs with small trailers bounced along the reed beds have also been getting quite a few pickups by the slightly bigger bass in the 3 kg region. Hazlemere Dam has been producing quite a few of the smaller fish in the shallower water along the banks; C-tails in Chartreuse have been doing quite a bit of damage. Small spinner baits have also been doing very well in luring the bass out of their comfort zone to feed. The Strike Pro spinner baits have been doing an excellent job the past few weeks in producing some decent fish in these difficult conditions to fish in. The Zoom watermelon red finesse worm has also been getting quite a bit of attention when drop shotted around the bank.
Tiger – Jozini Dam proceeds to be rather unproductive as not much has been happening the past week, the weather has been quiet calm tempting most anglers to get onto the water and fish very hard for the tigers but very few fish came out. The kids playing around with worms have been rather successful as they have gotten quite few Tilapia and barbel. The few tiger that have been coming out have been on live tilapia after a long wait and also on a few sardine stomachs tied together as a stomach blob bait.
The Kingfisher Fishing channel features new content every Monday to Friday at 10:00. Fresh content on product, baits, methods & fishing as well as the popular SPLASH giving back to fishing courtesy Daiwa & The Kingfisher. GOTO: www.YouTube.com/TheKingfisherFishing
This week’s content:
Monday 10:00 – SPLASH – GRAND Prize – Who wants to go to Mazeppa Bay Hotel?
Tuesday 10:00 – FISHING VLOG – Edible fishing at Mazeppa Bay?
Wednesday 10:00 – BAIT Demo – Mackerel with cutlets
Thursday 10:00 – ASFN Species – White Musselcracker / Brusher
Friday 10:00 – GEAR – The NEW Kingfisher Quick Clips
STAY UP TO DATE WITH WHATS HAPPENING IN FISHING!
The latest series of Hier Gaan Ons Alweer (16) with Petri de Wet premieres Monday evenings at 17:30 on kykNet channel 144 and there are a number of repeats during the week. The repeats are on Tuesday at 10:00, Thursday at 16:30, Friday at 00.30 and Saturday at 13:00. Series 16 runs for three months, ending on the 25th December 2017. As most of you know, Petri and his guests cover various angling styles (fresh and salt water) in and around Southern Africa.
The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday, Wednesday to Friday 8:00 to 17:00, Tuesday 8:30 to 17:00, and Saturday 8:00 to 13:00. Open for trading all December Sundays 8 – 1pm. Please send any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go to www.facebook.com/thekingfisherdaiwa and “Like” us on Facebook to catch reviews, videos, fishing reports, great promotions and lots more.